Suicide rate hits 30-year high, with big costs

  • Comments
  • Print

Talk to a social worker, funeral director or a minister, and you can see that helping families cope with suicide is one of the toughest parts of the job. The shock and grief can seem overwhelming.

But suicide rate in the U.S. continues to climb, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's despite a prevalence of prevention campaigns and a higher rate of national awareness.

The suicide rate climbed 24 percent since 1999, and is now at the highest level in nearly 30 years. The suicide rate was 13 per 100,000 people, the highest since 1986.

The report did not break out figures for states, but the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recently said Indiana ranks 26th for suicides, based on 2014 data.

Suicide costs Indiana a total of $1.02 billion of combined lifetime medical and work loss in 2010, or an average of $1.18 million per suicide death, the group said in a fact sheet.

Another group, Indiana Youth Institute, a nonprofit that works to improve child development, said suicide is the third-leading cause of death among blacks aged 15 to 24. Among whites and Hispanics in that age group, accidents were the leading cause of death, followed by suicide and homicide.

Suicide-prevention advocates have urged Indiana lawmakers to pass legislation to help fight suicide. They have sought laws making suicide prevention training mandatory for health professionals, and more training for school teachers.

In 2011, Indiana passed a law that requires applicants for an initial teaching license to demonstrate successful completion of education and training on the prevention of child suicide.

The leading methods of suicide include poisoning, suffocation and guns. Other methods include cutting and piercing, drowning and motor vehicles.


Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.